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Hot On The Street Turns 7

Anne Donahue and Sarah Prince

Today marks 7 years since I published my first Hot On The Street post on Tumblr. A lot has changed since then, but my interest in fashion, entertainment and marketing has stayed the same.

Earlier this month, I had a chance to meet a local writer who I’ve liked for a long time: Anne T. Donahue. Most people went to Indigo to get Gabby Sidibe’s autograph, but I went to meet a woman with a kickass Twitter account and a wicked writing style. Continue Reading

Back to School Inspiration

When a teacher encourages students to pursue their passion, their influence deserves to be recognized and shared. The Our Kids Private School Expo blog hop provides a great opportunity to express why my media studies teacher, Alice Trachimovsky’s classes are among my best high school memories.

Once I saw how Mrs. T handled a group of immature boys while substituting for one of my grade ten classes, I knew she was a woman from whom I wanted to learn. The following year in grade eleven, her exciting creative assignments ranged from a shopping mall analysis to a full-fledged public service announcement campaign, for which I learned how to create a teaser. Leading enjoyable discussions is one of her specialties, especially when it comes to Lady Gaga and Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. Her observational humour always piqued my friends’ interest in how the media industry operates, making it unsurprising that many of my high school classmates study MIT at Western now.

Smaller classes make it easier to form meaningful bonds that promote keeping in touch post-graduation. Three years later, Mrs. T and I still meet for coffee every summer to catch up (most recently at Aroma).

Mrs. T always supported my ambitions to ensure Hot On The Street lived on after its print editions and I’ll never forget when she challenged us to summarize an article in 140 characters.

A magical formula doesn’t move private school students from school A to first choice university B, and then onto dream job C – teachers play a fundamental role in helping students get there.

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Behind the Brand: Sears

It’s one thing to “Like” a retailer on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

It’s quite another to learn about who promotes which clothes belong in your closet.

Name: Robin Vengroff

Position: Styling Sample Coordinator

Employer: Sears

Education: Fashion Communications, Ryerson University

Favourite blogs: Worn Fashion Journal, The Man Repeller, Jak and Jil, Garance Dore, Style Rookie, ModCloth, Refinery29

Favourite mobile app: The Collection – New York Times Fashion

Style icon: Iris Apfel, Jackie O, and my Grandmother

Professional role model: Grace Coddington (Creative Director of Vogue), Alexa White (of W) and ModCloth.com founder Susan Gregg Koger

In 140 characters or less, why can we be optimistic about the future of Sears?

Sears is focusing on gaining back the trust of its customers. It’s a matter of getting back to basics, and putting value and quality first.

What do you enjoy about working for a retailer, rather than a fashion designer or magazine?

Working for a retailer was a big to do on my fashion professional checklist for a number of reasons. I think that the experience I have had in working from both other perspectives was not really fully developed until coming into this environment. Seeing how initiatives get put into place in this kind of world is so different. I like this environment because it pertains to the realistic expectations of shoppers. Fashion magazines are about taking clothes and making them into a story to portray a theme for the season. And working for a boutique fashion designer was geared towards pleasing a very particular kind of customer and style. In this world of mass retail we also develop and market brands and a story or theme for the season, but the customer base is so much larger that I felt that it was extremely important to me in my career to understand that relationship as well.

Sears in particular was enticing for me to work for because it presented a lot of opportunity for growth within company. As a company Sears is very nurturing of its own talent – there are programs in place like the Future Leaders Program for Buyers that trains and develops the skills of employees.

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Behind the Books: Caren Lissner

It’s one thing to read an author’s books and attend their signings.

 

It’s quite another when you can get to know them without standing in line first.

Name: Caren Lissner

Best Known For: Carrie Pilby (2003)

Education: English & Creative Writing, University of Pennsylvania

Professional role model: Hmmm, hard to find one.

Current Employment and Projects:

Editor at a chain of weekly newspapers based in Hoboken, New Jersey. Project-wise, revising several different novels, including young adult novels, and hoping to publish one of them soon.

Describe your thoughts about e-reading in 140 characters or less:

Charmless but convenient.

Favourite magazine:

I just subscribed to Nerd Nite: The Magazine. Graphically, it reminds me of the old Mad Magazine, but more knowledge-oriented. Lots of fun. I also love getting Poets & Writers, New Jersey Country Roads (The Garden State does have a softer side!), and the New Yorker.

How important do you think it is for writers to be actively involved in social media? What do you predict about writers’ future role in promoting books?

It’s important for writers to get their work out there so it’s not overlooked in the rush of items competing for a reader’s attention. Writers will probably always have to promote their own work where they can. Blogging is helpful in keeping in touch with one’s readers, especially between books. And for those who really relate to your writing, they may want to know more about you.

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Behind the Brand: Canadian Diabetes Association

It’s one thing to “Like” a brand on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

 

 It’s quite another to learn about who organizes those updates.

 

Name: Pilar Iglesias (@pilariglesias)

Position: Manager, Strategic Communications

EmployerCanadian Diabetes Association

Education: Anthropology, York University; Public Relations, Ryerson University

Favourite blog:

My favourite non-work related blog has to be Design Sponge. My secret obsession/hobby is design and furniture, so I’ve been visiting since its inception. I suppose it’s not so secret anymore… 😉

Favourite mobile app:

This one’s easy – Shazam. I use it constantly and thankfully was able to chuck my “Songs to buy” notepad document.

Professional role model:

This one is also easy-Gini Dietrich. I met Gini on Twitter a few years back and have been in awe ever since. Not only is she a social media maven, she’s the founder and chief executive officer of Arment Dietrich, Inc.—a Chicago-based PR firm, the author of a work-related blog I follow religiously, Spin Sucks (the 2010 and 2011 Readers Choice Blog of the Year), and she’s the co-author of the book Marketing in the Round: Multichannel Approaches in the Post-Social Media Era.

Wait, I’m not finished.

She also writes for Crain’s Chicago Business, AllBusiness, and Franchise Times, and participates in workshops, is a keynote speaker, one of the hosts of the podcast, Inside PR….and these are just some of the things she does.

All of this is in addition to being witty, lovely, helpful and just a complete pleasure. I don’t talk to her as much as I probably would like, but she is definitely a role model. Oh, and one more thing, she can cook! Honestly, when does she have the time?

Most memorable on the job experience at Canadian Diabetes Association:

I was writing an article for our health and wellness magazine, and interviewed a woman who received a pancreas-kidney transplant after suffering many diabetes-related complications. Her appreciation for life was so incredibly inspiring to me but, at the same time, frightening as well since I have type 1 diabetes myself. It made me think of my own journey with the disease and how I manage it, and what it means if I don’t manage it to the best of my ability. It’s a conversation and feeling I won’t forget.

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